When Competition is the last concern? The Battle for the control of Endesa

Competition law and regulation had played a prominent role in the process of construction and liberalization of the internal energy market in the EU. Several transactions in the last decade have shown the difficulties of the process and how Member States may occasionally make a political use of merger review rules and of regulation to benefit domestic firms. This chapter describes in all its complexity the ENDESA takeover contest (2005-2007). This case is a unique example of the mixture of legal issues that may be involved in takeovers requiring competition and regulatory approval. Several lessons can be learnt from the case, not only for the history of Spanish and European competition law (especially regarding merger review). Other relevant industrial policy, regulation and corporate law issues were also raised by this landmark case, though the case is mainly illustrative of how politics, at the end, may affect or shape the final outcome in some business transactions.

in Landmark cases in competition law: around the world in fourteen stories, ed. B. Rodger, Wolters Kluwer, Alphen aan den Rijn, 2013, ISBN 978-90-411-3843-9, pages 287-318.